Missing American scientist found dead in Greece, research institute says

An American scientist has been found dead in Greece, nearly a week after she went missing.

Greek authorities recovered the body of U.S. citizen Suzanne Eaton on Monday evening, according to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, where Eaton was a research group leader.

The 59-year-old molecular biologist is survived by her husband and two sons.

“It is with enormous sadness and regret that we announce the tragic demise of our dearest friend and colleague, Suzanne Eaton,” the institute said in a statement Tuesday. “We are deeply shocked and disturbed by this tragic event. Suzanne was an outstanding and inspiring scientist, a loving spouse and mother, an athlete as well as a truly wonderful person beloved to us all. Her loss is unbearable.”

The Hellenic Police, the national police service of Greece, have not responded to ABC News’ requests for comment.

Eaton, a native of Oakland, Oklahoma, was attending a conference on the Greek island of Crete last week when she disappeared. She was last seen on the afternoon of July 2 near the port city of Chania. Greek authorities had launched a search for her in the area.

PHOTO: Suzanne Eaton is pictured in this undated photo.Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden

Suzanne Eaton is pictured in this undated photo.

Eaton’s running shoes were also missing, leading colleagues to suspect she may have gone for a run.

“The authorities have not yet completed their investigation regarding the events that may have transpired on Tuesday afternoon, 2nd July, and we will provide further updates as we receive information,” the institute said.

An official with the U.S. Department of State told ABC News Monday they were aware of reports that an American citizen was missing in Greece and were working closely with local authorities as they carried out search efforts.

Eaton was also a professor at the Biotechnology Center of TU Dresden. ABC News has reached out for comment.